Engineering dream reached: A story of giving

Had it not been for a job layoff, Lloyd Hilsgen, an electrical engineering student in the College of Science and Engineering, would still be juggling full-time employment along with his classes, studying, and being a husband and father.

"It's been a surreal journey," admits Hilsgen, who has been chipping away at his college degree for 12 years. "Thanks to the Presidents Club Scholarship, I am reaching my final goal of graduation and I don't have to worry about things like buying groceries for my family."

The 32-year-old student always dreamed of becoming an engineer. Right out of high school, he studied at an automotive institute but maxed out on available loans after two years. Disheartened, he took a break, joined the Air Force, got married, and pursued a new career in nuclear weapons maintenance. Discharged two years later with asthma, he looked for new opportunities in the Twin Cities. "I had 180 credits but few of them transferred. I had to completely start over at the U," he recalls.

“It's been a surreal journey. Thanks to the Presidents Club Scholarship, I am reaching my final goal of graduation.”

With his expected graduation this Spring finally in sight, Hilsgen says, "My dream is to work as an engineering project manager, replace my 1999 car, and continue to be present in my sons' lives."